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The Art of the Moving Picture

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The Art of the Moving Picture


Published June 11, 2012


LibriVox recording of The Art of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay.

"This 1922 book by poet and sometime cultural critic Vachel Lindsay might have been the first to treat the then-new medium of moving pictures as an art form, one that was potentially as rich, complex, mysterious as far older ones, and whose physical and aesthetic properties were only starting to be understood. The highlight of the book might be “The Motion Picture of Fairy Splendor,” which examines the relationship between film storytelling, magic, myths, legends and bedtime stories. It’s discombobulating, in a good way, to read Lindsay’s attempts to grapple with what, precisely, cinema is. Being supposedly sophisticated 21st century people, we all feel as though we know what cinema is, and don’t need to have the basics explained to us, but this is really just vanity and ignorance talking. Bottom line: You haven’t really, seriously thought about movies — what they are, and what they can and cannot do, and become — until you’ve read this book." (Salon.com)

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